Free Printable: Educator Expense Tracker

Teachers, it’s that special time of year where we often spend too much money to make our classrooms look their very best. Although I haven’t discovered a solution to prevent over spending, I have become more conscious of how much money I am spending on my classroom by creating a simple “Educator Expense Tracker” for my planner. If you would like a copy, please use the download link below. ūüôā

“I Voted” Sticker Template (Free)

My 10th graders will participate in a student mock election for the U.S. Presidential Election on Tuesday and I was stumped on how to make the experience more memorable for them when I found this amazing “I Voted” sticker template on TpT. Since adults receive an “I Voted” sticker to showcase their commitment to civic responsibility, what better than to provide students a similar opportunity?

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I can only imagine how ecstatic my students will be on Tuesday when they receive these stickers. The stickers from this template were far better than the one I received during early voting last week and best of all, this template was free. 

Printing the template was extremely easy.  I used standard Avery 5160 mailing labels (1 inch tall x 2 5/8 inches wide) that were recommended and the final results were absolutely gorgeous. (My photo does not do these stickers justice.) 

If you would like something similar for your students, I highly recommend downloading this template from Kaylynn Hamstra’s TpT Store.¬†¬†Enjoy ūüôā

 

Free Printable for Student Absences

Now that I’m at an Early College and see my students only 2-3 times per week, keeping track of absent work and copies for absent students has become a nightmare. Although I use¬†technology like Schoology and Remind to help students keep track of their day-to-day assignments, these apps do not fully resolve the problem of keeping absent students up-to-date with the actual happenings of the classroom.¬†

While I make a concerted effort to keep the Schoology class calendar as updated as possible, my use of technology was never meant to be a substitute for attending class. I do not post every instructional adjustment that I make nor do I announce pop quizzes on the calendar.  However, it is extremely challenging and time consuming to individually update multiple students from different classes what was missed during their absence.

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Click image to download document.

To resolve this problem, I decided to try a “While You Were Out Form.” Unfortunately, I¬†could not find a form that was functional and appropriate¬†for¬†high school students. Much of what I found online was designed for an elementary setting,¬†so I designed my own. It’s free of fancy clip art, but I think the clean design will serve its purpose in class. ¬†

Since I use a classroom jobs system, I have “hired” a detail oriented student helper for each class period to fill out the form as class progresses. Once the form is completed, I help the student¬†attach any handouts given during class and I place the completed packet into our classroom mailbox system for later pickup.

Tip: If you have multiple student absences¬†within a class period, do not have your student helper add a name to the form.¬†This allows you to¬†make copies of the¬†completed form for several¬†students¬†without the need of¬†additional¬†student helpers. Once you have made copies, simply add each student’s name and attach any handouts for that day.¬†

If you would like a copy of this “While You Were Out Form,” please click here or visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. You can also click on the image in this post for a direct download as well.¬†¬†Enjoy!!! ūüôā

I Was Booed…

I’ve never been overly excited about Halloween, but I’d like to take a moment to share something that really brightened¬†my day—I was booed.

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I’m not sure who started this at my school, but I’d love to say thank you. This small gesture truly cheered me up and it was just what I needed before I had to administer PSATs this morning. It’s always appreciated when a gesture of kindness unexpectedly comes my way and I am extremely excited to pay it forward. I hope this post inspires you to do something kind for your fellow teachers regardless of what holiday is on the horizon. In Texas, we are at the end of the quarter (9 weeks marking period) and I think we could all use a boost in¬†morale. ūüôā

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Meet Your Teacher

I decided to introduce myself to my Early College students and parents a little differently this year. Instead of a PowerPoint, I decided to use a “Meet the Teacher” handout. Although I was able to find a few templates online, none of them were well suited for a high school audience (a little too elementary oriented). So, ultimately, I ended up making my own from that collective inspiration and I was able to customize it exactly the way that I wanted.

**This¬†version omits my school’s contact information, but it is present on the final version that I will print and pass out on paper. I also plan to electronically post this handout for parents on Bloomz.**

So what do you think? Do you like my “Meet Your Teacher” introduction handout? I know it is rather simple, but I truly hope my students and parents enjoy reading it. ūüôā¬†

PS. If you are interested in using this template for your classroom, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

meet the teacher (blog version)

A Happy Heart…

A popular expression says, “Teachers encourage minds to think, hands to create, and hearts to love.” Well last week, I received some of the fruit from my labor when my Early College students chose my classroom door to decorate for a Valentine’s Day contest.

My students worked for weeks to complete an elaborate design for my door, a Sweethearts box with my name spelled out in the window and a Valentine’s Day poem. ūüôā

This sweet gesture was absolutely the best design in the entire school. Needless to say, my students won the door decorating contest and made me feel extra special in the process.

 

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!

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I don’t know about you, but I’m having one of the nicest Teacher Appreciation weeks ever. However, I can’t help but note the irony of National Teacher Appreciation Week¬†coinciding with STAAR testing.¬†Nonetheless, I’m grateful¬†for the acknowledgement we, teachers, receive and¬†I thought I’d take a moment to share how my Teacher Appreciation Week is going thus far.

At my school, teachers received a small goodie bag with a can of coke, a bag of chips, and a Whataburger certificate. Then, this morning, we had a Teacher Appreciation breakfast with pastries, coffee, and juice. However, what has truly made my week so far are small acts of kindness from my students.

One of my students drew me a picture. 

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Another wrote me one of the most beautiful thank you notes of my career. (BTW: Ding! is the catchphrase I use when my students get a question correct in class.)

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My 8th period drew me a witty picture (the misspellings are intentional).

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Then the National Hispanic Honor Society gave us the most delicious Mexican cookies in honor of both Cinco de Mayo and Teacher Appreciation Day. Yummmmm!!!!

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And just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, I discovered in the parking lot that my “happy friends” had decorated my car with some of my classroom catchphrases. Wow! What an awesome day!

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Please share in the comments below how is your Teacher Appreciate Week/Day progressing.¬†I’d love to know which¬†activities your school does to recognize teachers. Also, what special ways did your students acknowledge you during this week.? ūüôā

From Galveston with Love

20150407-112649.jpgOne of my seniors visited her family in Galveston, Texas during Easter break and returned to El Paso with a gift for me–a¬†hand-carved¬†lion pen. Wow¬†… how thoughtful!!! Although I truly loved receiving this gift, it means so much more to know that my students are thinking of me even when they are so far away from school. ūüôā

 

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

 

 

 

We Came; We Saw; We Slaughtered.

20150407-171133.jpgI am so proud of my Lit. Critters (also known as my University Interscholastic League Literary Criticism Team). While I have only coached them for two months, they did an outstanding job at the district UIL competition and won 1st place.  Hopefully, our team will be as successful at the state competition in a few weeks. Wish us luck!!!

PS. Although we¬†definitely believe in good¬†sportspersonship, “We came; we saw; we slaughtered” has become¬†my Lit. Critters team¬†mantra. It is a modern spin off derived from¬†Julius Caesar’s¬†“Veni, vidi, vici” which is Latin for “I came; I saw; I conquered.”¬†And yes, we’re nerdy like that. LOL. ūüôā

 

Started From the Bottom … Now We’re Here…

OMG!!! I’m so excited. Our iPads finally got a much needed upgrade from being charged on rigged up dish racks.¬†

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Now we have have a re-purposed C.O.W. (computers on wheels) laptop cart that we can use to charge, store, and transport our iPad minis.IMG_0040

¬†I’m so grateful and appreciative to finally have a secure storage solution in my classroom for our iPads.¬†ūüôāIMG_0042